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First Half Analysis: Swarming KC Chiefs Keeping it Close

Rob Gronkowski scored on a beautiful pass by Tom Brady in the second quarter. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

UPDATE: The Patriots defeated the Chiefs 34-3. Brady passed for 234 yards and Rob Gronkowski had two touchdown receptions.

More on the game later.


It wasn’t pretty early for the Patriots, but the AFC East leader take a 10-3 lead into the half.

The first quarter had its share of “what the” moments. We witnessed the following:

  • Wide receiver Julian Edelman miss a tackle on defense.
  • Ross Ventrone enters defense — promptly whiffs on Steve Breaston.
  • Wildcat by the Chiefs.
  • Surprise, New Orleans Saints-esque, onside kick by Kansas City.

I initially joked on Twitter that this game could resemble the LSU-Ole Miss beat down from Saturday night. In that game, the Tigers attacked a poor Ole Miss team, and with seeming-less effort scored at will.

Bad joke. Very bad joke.

The Patriots struggled in the first quarter, falling behind the Chiefs 3-0. The Patriots were in prime position to score after an illegal touching penalty negated a Kansas City onside kick recovery, but Tom Brady fumbled after being sacked by Wallace Gilberry.

Seeing No. 12 on the ground was a pretty constant sight in the first half. The Chiefs sacked the Patriots quarterback three times, as New England’s offensive line has looked down right putrid.

For Kansas City, the Chiefs shot themselves in the foot on a couple of occasions. Driving in Patriots territory, Kansas City converted on a beautifully executed draw play by Thomas Jones, but Leonard Pope was called for holding. The Chiefs then were forced to punt.

That punt led to a Patriots touchdown on their following drive.

Tom Brady dropped back (avoided the sack) and delivered a perfect pass to Rob Gronkowski over the middle of the field. Gronkowski did the rest, scampering down the sidelines for a touchdown.

On the ensuing drive for the Chiefs, after Palko calmly led the offense down the field, he delivered a catch able pass to Breaston that bounced off his hands and into the mitts of Kyle Arrington. With the interception, Arrington now has six picks on the season, which is tops in the NFL.

New England added a field-goal at the end of the half, after Derrick Johnson ripped the ball out of Danny Woodhead’s hands, which saved a touchdown from going on the board.

Here are some first half stats:

  • Tyler Palko: 10-14, 111 yards, 1 interception
  • Tom Brady: 8-16, 133 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 fumble
  • Thomas Jones: 7 carries, 47 yards, 6.7 YPC
  • BenJarvus Green-Ellis: 8 carries, 25 yards, 3.1 YPC
  • Dwayne Bowe: 4 catches, 45 yards
  • Rob Gronkowski: 3 catches, 77 yards, 1 TD

About Matthew Marcantonio - @M_Marcantonio

Matthew Marcantonio is the Patriots and college football editor at Sports of Boston. Marcantonio has contributed for two newspapers; the Sentinel & Enterprise (Leominster, Mass) and The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La) and held internships with The Bleacher Report and Sports Illustrated.

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